All I wanted was my dinner. After an early morning flight back to Accordion City from Calgary and enough work to keep me from getting a decent lunch, I was looking forward to a nice dinner with The Missus at Wasabi (1730 Bloor Street West, at Keele), the all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant that had opened a few blocks away from our home.
Wasabi’s menu is not unlike those at other local all-you-can-eat sushi places like Aji Sai. It comprises a selection of sushi, sashimi, tempura, donburi and other things that can be made quickly and cheaply and can provide a lot of bang for your twenty bucks.
It’s the busiest restaurant that’s ever opened at that corner. When we walked in on Friday night, we saw a full restaurant bustling with all sorts of people: groups of young friends having dinner before a night out, many young families with strollers in tow, solo diners who brought some reading material with them, couples out for an end-of-week meal and so on. At first glance, the place appeared to be the next neighbourhood hit.
It took a little while for someone to take our order. We chalked it up to the place’s newness; it often takes a restaurant a little while to work the kinks out of its system during its “shakedown phase” and get a sense of how busy they’ll be. They appeared understaffed, and the the staff they had clearly weren’t used to working in a busy restaurant.
The orders we did manage to get were, for the most part, decent. The seafood tempura was done right, the dynamite roll was tasty and the edamame was well, edamame. After that, no food came to our table for a good while.
After asking around, we discovered that our order had been sent to the wrong table. We were still willing to forgive this mistake and place another order, and the waitress apologized and told us she’d be right back with a notepad. Hey, it’s an all-you-can-eat place, and most of the stuff was the kind that other places can make quickly.
She never came back. A good quarter-hour, complete with a lot of waves to the waitress, has passed without any service. It was clearly time for plan B.
“Enough already. Pizza slice?” I asked Wendy, gesturing to the Pizza Pizza across the street.
We walked up to the front, told the staff that our order had been served to the wrong table and no one had attempted to correct the mistake. Another customer who was standing at the counter said “Yeah, they screwed up my order, too.”
We also told them that we weren’t paying, and walked out. They gave no reply other than confused looks, tilted heads and stunned silence – not even an “I’m sorry". This sort of reaction is the hallmark of complete incompetence and the front-of-house staff treat the place as many similar people do: the restaurant’s just a place that provides a paycheque in exchange for you just showing up.
As we walked towards the pizza place, we ran into our neighbours Chris and Wanda, who were heading to Wasabi to try them out, and warned them away from the place. Consider this blog entry the same warning to the rest of the world: Wasabi is run by scatterbrains, and if you’d actually like some service, go elsewhere.